The most wonderful time of the year is upon us and there’s no better way to celebrate than by bringing wonder and beauty indoors this season. Yep, we’re talking about decorating with local Savannah favorite Madame Chrysanthemum for the holidays! Madame Chrysanthemum is a Floral Design Studio and Boutique located at 101 West Taylor Street in downtown Savannah. They have been making beautiful flower magic for over 14 years. Their store is a feast for the eyes, filled with brilliant colors and unique merchandise. They are not only a full service florist but a fabulous boutique filled with an amazing assortment of quirky and cool merchandise such as bug ornaments, delicious candles, a fabulous assortment of stationary and amazing things you never realized you needed! This year, we’re challenging you to dream beyond the poinsettias and other traditional holiday plants and try some creative yuletide decorating. We asked the guru Michele Mikulec, owner and lead designer of Madame Chrysanthemum some questions to guide you in your quest for the perfect holiday setting.

In your opinion what is the best way to decorate in classic style for the holidays and what items do you offer that would be appropriate? Magnolia is the way to go! It makes such a statement on its own and is perfect for the southern Christmas. But for a more traditional look I just love princess pine. I LOVE the smell of it and the versatility of this greenery. It can be paired with anything and will look fabulous no matter what.

What if someone wants to bring a unique and fun twist to their holiday? One of the things we are known for is creating fun and fabulous designs when working with our clients unique projects. Last year one of my favorite clients had me design some wreaths utilizing her families vintage Japanese fabrics and mementos going back over 50 years. It was definitely a challenge, but definitely very rewarding to work on.

What do you suggest for local and native?  Pine is most definitely native to the lowcountry, as is cassina holly. And the most important holiday greenery is Mistletoe because who doesn’t want to be kissed under the mistletoe.

What do you suggest for an inexpensive “splash of holiday” that no matter your design skill you could pull off? I find that using ribbons – sparkly, satin, velvet, etc. is the best way to add a beautiful splash of Holiday cheer. From the simplest bow to the most fabulously extravagant, beautiful bows make everything look fabulous!

What is your favorite holiday flower? My favorite holiday flower is the Amaryllis…what a stunner. It makes a statement and is glorious!

What decor trend did Madame Chrysanthemum go with this year? I decided this year I was going to go super vibrant!! Bright red garland wraps around the shop and on the inside I’ve gone with Turquoise garland and a green/blue themed tree. I thought we could all do with some FUN this year. And I wanted to bring joy to the neighborhood.

What is the one thing in your store that everyone should walk away with? This year I brought in some really cool ornaments. But my favorite is the Baby Buddha Head for sure.  Oh My Goodness they are so much fun and boy do they make a statement. Everyone needs one!!